South Africa’s mineworkers’ union holds 17th Congress

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held its 17th National Congress on 30 March which was attended by South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the union’s founding General Secretary. 

Carrying the theme "Back to basics: Defend, advance and build a radical movement,” NUM’s congress was attended by 670 voting delegates, excluding international and national guests, as well as observers. 

Addressing NUM’s Congress delegates, South Africa President Ramaphosa urged the union to “jealously guard” its gains and successes over the years. He reminded the union’s leaders that NUM continues to be held by the public in high regard due its "progressive workers’ programmes" and firm commitment to ensure that the voice of the workers are properly heard and incorporated in policy-making.  

This was supported by Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe who encouraged NUM’s members to always ensure that their key inputs are included in the making and implementation of policies. 

“There should be no policy decision taken in the mining, construction, energy, and metal industries without the workers’ advisements,” said Mantashe, who is also a former NUM General Secretary.

NUM’s Congress elected the union’s new set of leaders, who were warmly welcomed by BWI as represented by Crecentia Mofokeng, the global union’s Regional Representative in Africa and Middle East. The newly-elected leaders are:

President - Daniel Balepile

Deputy President - Phillip Vilakazi,

General Secretary - William Mabapa

Deputy General Secretary - Mpho Phakedi

Treasurer General – Ms. Helen Diatile,

Education Chairperson - Olehile Kgware

Education Secretary - Lefty Mashego Health

Safety Chairperson - Duncan Luvuno

Health and Safety Secretary - Masibulele Naki

Balepile called on the union’s members to unite and work together in building a stronger and more united NUM.